The Mystery of Melania from the LA Review of Books blog:
Melania Trump normalized her first lady status last month by moving to the White House, but this shouldn’t prevent us from appreciating her disruptive qualities, apparent in February when Teen Vogue defended her against “slut shaming.” We’ve arrived at a new place when a first lady of the United States represents the occupational right to nude self-expression.
A recent show at the National Maritime Museum in the UK — entitled “Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity” — explored the origins of Emy Lyons, the daughter of a blacksmith from England’s northern countryside who made her way to London and occupied the city’s floating world of entertainment workers and pleasure seekers during her teens. She emerged from those adventures as Emma Hart.
Emma’s fame is due, in part, to a seven-year relationship with admiral Horatio Nelson, who died after winning the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. But Emma was already a celebrity when she met Nelson.
Ten years before she became Lady Hamilton, Emma Hart was discovered by the British painter George Romney, who depicted her as Circe, St. Cecilia, and Shakespeare’s Miranda. On rare occasions, she appeared as herself. Together they produced more than 60 paintings,
Read the whole thing.